There are two common reasons why people need to prove their citizenship. First, people who need to show proof of citizenship for job or tax purposes. Second, people who automatically qualify for U.S. citizenship through parents and need to show proof in order to obtain citizenship.

Common Documents to Prove Your Citizenship

The most common documents used to prove citizenship are:

How Do I Get a Copy of My Birth Certificate?

Birth certificates are issued by a U.S. state if you were born in the United States. If you were born abroad and your parents registered your birth and U.S. citizenship, then you may obtain proof of this through the U.S. embassy or consulate in the country of your birth.

How to Get a U.S. Passport

You may apply for a U.S. passport through the U.S. Department of State. Generally, passport applications are available at the U.S. post office. Learn more about the process here.

If you simply need to renew your U.S. passport, you may renew your passport by mail.

What Documents Do I Need to Prove U.S. Citizenship through Parents?

If you were born overseas but have a U.S. parent, you may qualify for automatic U.S. citizenship. Generally, if you have one U.S. citizen parent and that parent lived in the U.S. for a specified period of time, you may qualify for U.S. citizenship. However, these rules vary depending on the citizenship laws at the time of your birth. Visit the USCIS website for an overview of citizenship through parents.